Dayton appoints health insurance exchange board

Gov. Mark Dayton announced today the seven-member board that will manage Minnesota’s new health insurance exchange, which state lawmakers created earlier this session under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Dayton appointed six people to join Health and Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson on the MNsure board. They include the owner of a health care technology company, a former health care software company owner, a retired physician, a tribal executive, a former union leader and a corporate communications executive. The members bring diverse experiences to the new board, Dayton said during a news conference.

“We need a board with great wisdom and perspective and ready to face the challenges,” Dayton said. “There certainly are going to be plenty of challenges ahead. But I’m very confident with this board that we’re going to have the best health exchange anywhere in the country.”

The new health insurance exchange, which will help individuals and small businesses in Minnesota find coverage online, is scheduled to be operational by Oct. 1.

Brian Beutner, a consultant and former UnitedHealth Group executive, said he and the other board members are committed to getting the exchange right.

“We’re ahead of most other states in what we’re doing, and there will be hiccups along the way,” Beutner said. “Everybody has their own internal ideal of what it can be. I think our charge is to make it work for as many people as well as possible.”

The other appointees are: Thompson Aderinkomi, founder and CEO of Retrace Health; Pete Benner, a consultant and former AFSCME executive; Kathryn Duevel, a retired OBGYN physician; Tom Forsythe, vice president of global communications at General Mills; and Phil Norrgard, director of human services Fond du Lac Reservation.

The board will begin meeting next month.